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Opinions of Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

Your Mother, Sister And Daughter, Not Your Wife, Sir!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D
Garden City, New York
Nov. 21, 2014

He says he wouldn't mind having his wife hanged or publicly stoned, the Sharia Way, if she were to be brought up on charges of adultery (See " 'I Won't Mind If My Wife Is Stoned To Death Or Hanged For Adultery' - Daboya MP" / 11/15/14). And, interestingly, Mr. Nelson Abudu Baani would have this written into the laws of Ghana. But what he is not telling us is the punishment that ought to be meted any man found to be in a situation of adultery with any woman.

Would the male accomplice also face the death penalty? And if not, why so? In this piece, though, I am more interested in knowing why the National Democratic Congress' parliamentarian for the Daboya-Makarigu Constituency thinks that permitting his wife to be stoned in case of adultery is such a laudable gesture. The Akan have a saying that "When it is stuck to the body of your neighbor, it must just as well be stuck to the trunk of a tree."

In other words, biologically and culturally speaking, Mrs. Baani is not the relative of Mr. Baani; nor is she the property of her husband. So why would the latter presume it to be such a leaden gesture to permit his wife, were she to be brought up on charges of adultery, to be either stoned to death or hanged? The more appropriate measure would be for Mr. Baani to advocate the summary execution of his own mother, sister or daughter, were any of these significant women in his life to be brought up on charges of adultery.

Here, once again, I am more interested in the sort of mindset that harbors such bestially primitive ideas than the mere fact of the inexcusably repugnant espousal of such ideas. I strongly suspect that such a bestial mindset is partly sustained by the generally accepted maltreatment of women in Mr. Baani's part of Ghana. The Sharia-Islamic aspect of his talk also used to be integral to the Judeo-Christian religion, as most of s are well aware of, until Jesus Christ of Nazareth and Bethlehem challenged the consciences of the tyrants of his day.

The implicit thrust of my argument here, of course, is that Mr. Baani may very well have enrolled himself into the wrong calling. In other words, what is needed in Ghana's parliament presently are enlightened moral and political spearheads and firebrands, and not blind followers of obsolescent and ossified dogmas and mantras that have absolutely no berth, or place, in a twenty-first century postcolonial and progress-oriented society like ours. And it goes without saying that anybody who reasons like the Daboya-Makarigu National Democratic Congress MP, is also likely to believe in the anti-intellectual domestication of women.

In brief, Ghanaians like Mr. Baani, unlike the immortalized Dr. James Emmanuel Kwegyir Aggrey, for instance, are highly unlikely to value the education of women to the highest echelons and rungs of the academy. In this sense, Mr. Baani may be envisaged to be in the very best of company among the slimy ranks of the largely anti-intellectual key operatives of the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress.

In the wake of the Nayele Ametefe Scandal, a friend suggested to me in a text message that maybe Ghanaians ought to rename the ruling party, the National Democratic Congress, as the Narcotics Distributors' Congress. I wrote back to him tersely as follows: "Sounds perfect to me, Me Nua Barima!"